Mankind has landed on the moon. Bikinis are hitting beaches across the world, and animal prints are vogue. Brigitte Bardot has become the official face of Marianne, and beehive hairdos and minidresses dot the landscape. The Beatles are living legends.
Maximilian cared for none of that. The pint sized man was built like an owl – broad shoulders and a bald head that sat squat on his neck, tapering down to tiny legs and misshapen feet that made him seem perpetually in danger of falling over – especially when he paced in front of the giant monitor which held his attention.
He cleaned the fog from his monocle – he sweated profusely, even in cool climates, and the heat of the volcano where he'd made his lair was only compounded by the moisture of the jungle outside. He took a long draw the tapered cigarette holder in his hand, blowing out smoke and fuming quietly.
A dozen men, each physically capable of breaking the tiny man in half, shook in their boots. They'd never seen the industrial genius so angry. They towered over him, but stood stock straight, at attention, praying they didn't draw his attention.
“What do you mean OFF LINE?!” he finally howled. The scientist on screen – with a white lab coat and beads of sweat dripping down his face.
“My apologies, your Magnificence,” he said, cowering and bowing his head. “We're still trying to get to the source of the problem. Some sort of electromagnetic energy has scrambled the radio signals which control our security system. The traps – the flamethrowers walls and the saw blade ceilings and the dread-mills all appear to be offline.”
“And the piranhas? What about the piranhas?!”
Maximilian's small hands slammed down on the desk. The scientist jumped. “They're fine, sir! But...”
“BUT WHAT?!” screamed the undersized tyrant.
“Well, the radio controls which operate the trap doors seem to be malfunctioning. We can't seem to get them to open when the forces of justice – or the tourists – tread on them.”
Maximilian screamed, balling his fists in the air. “The forces of justice are HERE?! Why didn't you LEAD with that?!” He pointed at the screen. “Minion! Kill him! Everyone! Red Alert! Fight to the last man! Arm yourselves, my minions, ARM YOURSELVES!”
John Steele, man of danger, international playboy and internationally renowned super-spy, casually aimed his PPK and squeezed the trigger. The shot was over a hundred and fifty yards, the tiny gun barely capable of accurately handling such ranges, but it caught the gray-clad henchman square in the forehead. There was a splatter of blood, his head snapping back, and John Steele sighed.
Another day, another megalomaniac trying to take over the world.
He adjusted the tie of his tuxedo, glancing at the sun and momentarily begrudging the sweltering heat of the jungle. He should be frolicking on the beach with with some nubile tourist who filled out her bikini – but instead he was trekking through the jungle, putting the end to the schemes of yet another would be overlord.
“I should publish a rulebook for evil geniuses,” he sighed. He stepped over vines and fallen branches, his polished leather shoes not collecting a hint of mud, or cracking even the tiniest stick – though his white coat did little to fade into the verdant background. Another minion poked their head out from the cave, waving a gun, scanning the jungle in an adrenaline-fueled haze. John waited for him to lean just a little more, and shot him in the chest. The minion crumpled and fell back, and John paused in front of the first, nearly headless minion.
“Rule number one,” he said, leaning down and unzipping the garish yellow jumpsuit. It was waterproofed, he noticed with amusement, and a moment later he'd stripped it off, pulling it over his tuxedo reluctantly. He reached over to pull off the intact helmet from the second dead minion, snapping it into place.
“My minions will have clear face masks, not silly visors which allow anyone to enter.”
He continued into the cave – the illusion of nature disappeared a few steps within, becoming metal walls and sliding, sophisticated doors. The jammer he'd placed earlier was disrupting most of the islands technological systems, and in an emergency, the doors were forced into an open position.
“Rule number two,” he continued to himself. He glanced up, smiling wryly at the large, overhead heating duct.
“My ventilation shafts will be too small to crawl through.” He jumped up, catching the sill of it, pulling off the grate with one hand and climbing within.
“Rule number three - “
Maximilian slammed his hands down on the table. “Where are my minions! Blue Team, come in! Yellow Team! Report!”
He howled, throwing the radio against the screen in a fury. Both shattered, and the gathered henchmen winced. He was standing on the table now, doing his best to loom over the remaining force of devoted servants. It made him stand eye to eye with his burly henchman.
“It could just be the radio's jammed, sir,” said a henchman, optimistically.
“It could just be the radio's jammed, sir,” parroted Maximilian. He drew a Luger, aiming it and shooting the optimistic minion through the chest.
“No,” he growled, shaking with impotent fury. “It's John...Steele.” He hissed the words.
“Someone get Jubei. And ready the giant laser!”
He pumped his hands into the air victoriously, while his minions scurried.
As two of them slipped out, one of the yellow-clad henchmen leaned to the other.
“Man, this sucks. We're all going to die.”
“Shh,” said the other, nodding back to the diminutive leader. “Gollum's got ears like a bat.”
Smoke spilled out of the cave entrance as John Steele strode back out. The pint-sized megalomaniac's bodyguard had put up a hell of a fight, and his tuxedo had born the brunt of it. He sighed and looked down at the garment – the clean white surface marred by katana cuts, laser fire, and the blood of more than one hapless minion. He peeled it off, baring bronzed muscles and abs carved of rock, tossing it into the jungle. He pushed a button on his watch. Tiny antenna extended from the technological masterpiece, and he spoke into the face.
“S.A.B.R.E. Command, this is double oh twelve, copy.”
“We read you loud and clear.”
He glanced back to the volcano, streaming smoke from a dozen entrances. “Operation Napoleon is complete, sir.” He poked idly at a small red line, where a bullet had grazed his abdomen. “The runt put up a fight, but I don't think you'll have to worry about that earthquake ray any time soon.”
The volcano let out a crash, as systems of tunnels collapsed upon themselves. Smoke and debris flew from the entrances, and for a moment John Steele coughed and then held his breath.
“Was... a little closer to operational than expected,” he added.
He paused, gaze fixing on two distant figures. They were headed for the beach, running from the debris, tourists vacationing on the island. Nubile, with caramel skin and dark hair, bodies glistening in the sun as they dove into the water to wash themselves of the soot and smoke. The sway of their bodies in the bikinis was... mesmerizing.
“God bless Louis Réard,” said Steele.
“What was that? We didn't catch the last part. You're on your way back to HQ?”
Steele glanced at his watch, and grinned. “Sorry, Command. Looks like there's a... back up prototype I'm going to have to dismantle. I'll radio you when it's over.”
He slipped off the watch, and his shoes, and headed for the beach at a jog, a grin on his face.
“Damnation,” said Command. “He's off buggering some bimbo.”
A thousand miles away, a phone rang. A gloved hand lifted it to an ear.
“Your... eminent brilliance?”
“Yes?” said a cultured voice.
“It seems the... Island of Indeterminate Location you were interested in is... once again on the market. I'm told there's been a... significant drop in the asking price. S.A.B.R.E. apparently discovered a ruthless mastermind using it as a base of operations. Apparently, some made plot to take over the world.”
“Oh? What a pity.”
There wasn't the least bit of disappointment in the voice.
“Would you like another tour? We can arrange another trip to scout the location - “
“That won't be necessary. I'll buy. I'll have the money transferred first thing in the morning.”
“Thank you. Our courier will be in the usual place.”
“Excellent.” There was a cultured pleasure in the tone, but distant – a powerful mind was already far distant, wheels spinning in their mind.
The hand hung up the phone. Fingers steepled together, and a low, wicked laugh began. It seemed to bubble on, and on, filling the room.
Minions in helmets with clear face plates glanced to one another. They'd never seen the Master so happy.
So, credit where credit is due: This concept is very much directly inspired, and homage to a little game called Evil Genius.
Published by Elixir Studios, now defunct, and owned by Sierra Entertainment. I've used established characters from the game liberally in the teaser I've posted here, but the intention of the game is to create a new Evil Genius played by a player here in the forums, then create a world for them and their legions of henchmen and followers to inhabit.
The goal? World Domination, of course. What self respecting Evil Genius would aspire to anything less? But to do so means tricking, befuddling, and fooling the Forces of Justice, stalling them as wicked plans come to fruition.
Sadly, there can be only one Evil Genius. I intend for the player who wishes to be the Evil Genius to post their concept here in the thread – I want a compelling back story, the unique quirks of your Genius, and a rough outline of their planned path to World Domination. We can work out the exact details in PM, but I want the interested community to have a sense for their evil overlord. After a number of compelling concepts have been posted, the community of interested players will vote. Their should also be some out of game notes – the Genius will be a major character, to be sure, the supreme commander, but the player will have some responsibility to the remainder of the community, obligations to help keep the game moving and create role playing opportunities.
This is a world of cliches – bombshell honeypots, charming agents, bumbling, expendable minions. Good help is hard to find, hard to train, and hard to keep loyal! Also, it seems hard to keep all the minions out of each other's pants.
Above and beyond that, there will be lots of roles for others to play – I'm going to create a number of slots for skilled henchmen, the dangerous allies of the Genius, and more for important positions within the hierarchy. Brilliant, malevolent scientists, mercenary commanders, cunning masters of espionage.
I'm intending the game to be very tongue in cheek, in many ways. (If the teaser wasn't any hint.) A sense of humor is a vital ingredient.
A few things this game is not:
This is not torture porn. Yes, there will be interrogations. I think a chief interrogator makes a fine concept – but I'm not interested in vivid descriptions of horrifying experiments or flaying skin or castration. The intention is for light-hearted megalomania, not a deep exploration into the nature of evil. Wicked, self-centered, and misunderstood is fine. A true psychopath serial killer kind of concept holds no interest for me.
Second – this is not an adventure game. The key action will take place on the island. Henchmen and minions will accomplish myriad evil tasks off the island, and I intend to play those through PMs. But ultimately, the steamy jungle island and volcano lair will be the heart of all of the action. Having every PC saddle up to go on a grand adventure is not the goal – I'd rather players think of it as their own evil little sandbox.
Third – I intend to move this game into the adult forums just as soon as I can. If I'm approved, (fingers crossed) the island paradise is going to get considerably steamier. Build a little heat into your concepts, but play nice until the gloves are off. I'm going to build a lot of global areas where players can mingle at their own pace. So, in the mean time, this is a non-adult game, but it is very much intended to be one. Soon.
Fourth – There is a comedic element to the game, but I intend to play it very seriously. Yes, there will be cliches and pastiches aplenty, cheesecake will abound, but create a concept with some depth, some fun, and some long-term goals.
I'll be providing some details on character creation imminently, but feel free to start throwing out some nutshell concepts. I'll have some details on full character creation after I have PMs, but I think there's a lot of initial work that can begin before then.
Let me know if you're interested, and feel free to pitch a concept anywhere in this thread.